When Can We Add Accommodations to the IEP?

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I am a Special Education high school teacher.  The special ed administrator will not allow the Team to add an accommodation at the annual IEP meeting.  We can only add accommodations at the three year reevaluation so that tests used for reevaluation will back any new accommodation. Is this legal?

A student’s needs – based on his strengths and weaknesses in the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance – drive the IEP.

These strengths and weaknesses help the IEP Team (the whole IEP Team – not just one teacher/administrator) decide on the individualized accommodations that are appropriate for a child.

The present levels should be updated every time the IEP Team meets. https://www.wrightslaw.com/howey/iep.present.levels.htm

When Can You Revise the IEP?

A parent can request their child’s IEP be revised at any time.

A parent, teacher, or related services provider may decide that a child’s IEP needs to reviewed/revised early, before the annual review, without waiting 3 years for the triennial reevaluation.

There are any number of reasons that could trigger a revision of the IEP (including accommodations noted in the IEP). Chapter 11, Wrightslaw: All About IEPs.

You are receiving confusing/conflicting information from the administrator, sometimes they just don’t know.

As a special ed teacher you need reliable information about the legal requirements for IEPs.

Use these resources

IEPs at https://www.wrightslaw.com/info/iep.index.htm

20 U.S.C. 1414(d), 34.C.F.R. 300.303, 300.320-324 in Wrightslaw: Special Education Law at https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/selaw2/selaw2.htm.

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs at https://www.wrightslaw.com/bks/aaiep/index.htm

The search box on any Wrightslaw.com page.

Ask for Clarification / Written Policy

Ask your special ed administrator to share the section in the statute / federal regulations / your state regulations about the requirement for adding accommodations only at certain times. Where is this regulation?

It would be interesting to see what guidelines he is using for decisions about revising an IEP.

  1. I believe we can add a new area to an IEP (student has math, but reading comprehension has been a concern) at the annual IEP meeting if we have sufficient data, without doing a whole new reevaluation. Is this true?

    • Typically, districts want, & should base needs on data. So that might or might not be possible in this case without an evaluation.

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